Mumbai police officer hopes debut book Quantum Siege is an eye-opener

Brijesh Singh says most of the situations in the novel are quite realistic.

Quantum Siege is Mumbai police officer Brijesh Singh's debute novel
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A policeman’s life is extremely difficult, says Brijesh Singh – and he should know. He’s a senior Mumbai police officer who has just published an action-packed thriller about looming threats and unseen challenges – and the unpredictable lifestyles of “men at work” whose life, he laments, is widely “misunderstood”.

For someone who has been "always on duty" and pressed against deadlines, taking out time to write Quantum Siege came pretty easily. Singh, the additional commissioner of police, says: "Once I started writing the story, it took off on its own."

With erratic schedules that leave very little room for personal time, Singh set aside a three-hour slot from midnight to 3am for three months to complete his 243-page saga, in which a terrorist group has threatened the Indian prime minister with unprecedented consequences if a referendum is not immediately announced in Kashmir.

“All I can say is that most of the situations in my novel are quite realistic. There have been certain terror groups that are a threat to the country,” says Singh, speaking from Mumbai.

“This book also brings to light another side of the cops that is not known to people. People never understand the kind of pressure we always work under and the many things we have to deal with when something major happens.”

And this is why the book speaks about cops joking around during tense situations. These “funny” situations might not seem realistic to readers, but Singh is quick to counter this.

“People might find these situations funny, but we have seen it all and face such tense moments every day. So this doesn’t make us unsympathetic or conniving, but when this is a part of your job, you, too, find your light situations in those tense moments,” he explains.

Asked how much his protagonist, Rudra Pratap Singh, resembles him in real life, Singh admits: “There are many common shades.”

While his love for writing has begun to blossom further, with a second novel in mind, Singh hopes his debut thriller can change the “biased perceptions” that people have towards police officers.

“We are extremely misunderstood,” he says. “There is lack of empathy and people don’t know what a cop actually goes through. So, I hope people don’t see us as only black and white – there is a large grey area that exists in between.”

Quantum Siege (Penguin) is available on Amazon and costs Dh55